GR7 in Northern Catalunya – across the Serra de Cadi.

Fornols  –  La Seu d’Urgell

The Serra de Cadi, which I’ve seen ahead of me for days, form the last barrier before Andorra and the Pyrenees. They are an extensive range of hills reaching 2647m and stretching for 40k W-E. No significant roads breech them and to improve northern access a road tunnel has been built through them.

My early morning walk started today by heading up to the Coll de Bancs above Fornols at the western edge of the range. It was a joy to follow ancient walled lanes out of the village, they make best use of the rocky terrain and weave naturally across the hillside. How different to roads we create now by just blasting our way through the landscape. Not far on the way I passed a kennel with about 8 or 9 dogs who all started to howl, this set off all the dogs in the village – no chance of anyone enjoying a lie in.

At the col there were a couple of minor roads and voices in the woods, ladies with baskets appeared with their wild mushrooms.

Ahead the land looked very convoluted and complicated and I had to pay great attention to navigating to avoid getting lost in this wilderness. First was a downhill stretch through forest to a stream in the valley.  Two wooden poles had been placed across it but felt very precarious. The scattered poplar trees giving brilliant Autumn colour. [see opening photo]

Up the other side brought me onto a subsidiary ridges. A further pass was reached and here the rock changed character to a reddish shale. In parts this had been eroded into weird forms with quartz ribs showing through. It was not easy to walk on where it steepened, giving no sense of traction and there were one or two hairy traverses over steep drops.

The Pyrenees and Andorra in the background.

This terrain went on and on with the path winding seemingly randomly through.  Now there were backward  views into the northern side of Cadi. Ahead were the Pyrenees as yet clear of snow, Pic Carlit, 2921m, was prominent.The broad ridge I was on included more cols with lots of ups and downs. It was well on into the afternoon before I had a view down into the River Segre valley and the town of La Seu d’Urgell. It was even later and hotter when I was stood on the bridge over the river at the gateway to the town.

This was a busy place with an air of prosperity, you can tell where the money comes from, The old part of town was as always the most interesting to explore.Only one more day to go!

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